Tag Archives: relaxation

Mindfulness & the senses

ship-harbour-boat drop anchor to calm your senses
Drop your anchor into calmer waters

Drop anchor into the sea of now through mindfulness and the senses.

Busy mind. Tired body. Feeling unfocused and sometimes overwhelmed. Sound familiar?

Our busy lifestyles and overstimulating environment mean that we’re always on the go and there’s always something to do – there’s precious little time just to slow down and be.

There’s a saying oft used in yoga: Where your attention goes your energy flows.

If your attention is flitting around all over the place between past, present & future; getting lost in the past; fretting about the future; or judging and wanting to change what’s going on now,  then your energy is going to feel diffuse and scattered – no wonder you’re tired and feeling confused!

But you don’t have to feel lost and out of control.

I’d like to remind you that we all have five things which are always available to us to bring us home; to drop anchor into the sea of now.

Our senses. Read more…

Be kind to tension

be kind to yourself - release tensionWhere do you hold tension?

We all have a place where we feel it most.

It might be in your back; your jaw; your shoulders. It might be in clenched fists or tightness in the chest or throat or perennially clenched buttocks!

Maybe it’s become so habitual you don’t even realize you’re constantly holding a part of you tense.

For me it’s in my shoulders, throat and often my jaw.

Our busy, fretful, planning, judging, rarely-present minds create this chronic tension in our bodies.

So, it’s time to come out of your head and into your body.

Listen to your body and it will show you its wisdom.

And it’s definitely worth listening because often the whispers of tension will become shouts of pain or illness if we ignore them.

But, a word of caution. Read more…

Tough love on self-care

Relaxation time - cute dog
Sit and stare and just rest

When was the last time you did nothing? 

Rested? Pondered over a cup of tea? Stared out of the window to watch the clouds? Stood and listened to birdsong? Went for a walk with no aim in particular – just for the love of it? Sat and let your feelings come and go with no judgement?

Recently? Not in ages? Never?!

If this isn’t something you regularly do, I’m not judging you! I know how difficult it can feel to pack into your days all the activities you need and want to do – let alone finding time to do nothing!

But … this do-nothing-in-particular time is actually really important.

And the fact it is usually overlooked and not allowed in our lives is contributing to the high levels of stress and anxiety as well as fatigue and niggly illnesses in modern life.

Why? Because rest is essential to bring our bodies and minds back into balance.

It brings our bodies out of the stress response which modern-day life puts us into, and into the relaxation response where our body can rest, digest and heal. Rest balances the nervous system and soothes the mind. Read more…

Sensitive Manifesto for Living Life Well

Sensitive and proudI’m on a mission. To raise awareness of the trait of high sensitivity. To empower and inspire highly sensitive people.

15-20% of the population has a nervous system which is more finely tuned to the environment & stimuli. Amongst other things we tend to be very aware of the subtleties in the environment; we pick up on other people’s moods; we need quiet-time on very busy days.

There’s nothing wrong with HSPs. It’s not a syndrome or a condition to be cured or managed.

The way I see it, some people have brown hair others blond. Some people have blue eyes, others brown. Some people have a highly sensitive nervous system, others don’t.

But because we live in a noisy, over-stimulating world we HSPs often feel anxious and stressed and overwhelmed because our nervous system reaches saturation point long before non-HSPs.

So I’m on a mission to help HSPs take care of themselves in order to thrive. Read more…

Rest is Best

Busy bee - time to rest with yoga
Are you a busy bee?

Busy, busy, busy. Are you addicted to busy? Out here, there and everywhere? Do you ever allow yourself time to rest?

Or, maybe it’s an internalised feeling of busy that you can’t stop, you can’t slow down. A feeling of over-stimulation from all the thoughts and feelings and images and memories and plans.

That’s the busy that gets me. Take my sensitive easily aroused nervous system taking everything  in from my environment and processing it all, and add to it all the thinking and feeling and, blimey, do I need some quiet-time!

Trouble is that quiet-time can become another opportunity for your mind to work on the to-do list can’t it?

So, what’s the answer?

Well, do you know what? I think I’ve found it!

Rest. Read more…

Two tips to help you learn to relax

Sunshine appearing from behind clouds
Let the sunshine appear in your mind

Ah, to be able to relax and let the world drift by.

To be able to switch off the tension and anxious thoughts and focus on the here and now.

To connect to inner peace no matter what the world sends your way, and remain connected to that sense of inner peace…

Perhaps you find yourself wishing you could feel this way but that inner peace feels an elusive dream?

Let me assure you dear one, that it IS possible. It is possible to relax at will. It is possible to let go of the whirlpool of thoughts whizzing around your mind.

It just takes awareness and practice. Read more…

What are YOUR symptoms of relaxation?

Relaxation in Southampton and Eastleigh: learn to relax like this sleepy kitty!
This sleepy one certainly knows how to relax!

Do you know how you feel when you relax?

This is a good question to ask yourself!  Without having to ponder it, do you truly know the answer?

So often we focus on the negative sensations we experience in the body – symptoms of stress or anxiety, symptoms of a health condition, or symptoms of something we don’t know the cause of.

That’s because these symptoms are pretty good at and making themselves known. Headaches, back pain, joint discomfort, digestive problems, insomnia, stiffness… They’re hard to ignore!

And, it’s perfectly natural to notice discomfort and pain – it’s our body telling us something needs attending to. Read more…

Breathe back to balance

Breathe here now - relax with calming yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
Breathe here now.

You’re tense. Overwhelmed. You can’t think straight. You don’t know where to begin. You’re feeling irritable, frustrated – angry with yourself and the world! Tense jaw, shoulders and you’re barely breathing. You can’t focus.

Your life is out of balance. You need this to change.

I know how you feel, I’ve suffered from stress in the past myself and a tendency to anxiety is ongoing for me. Read more…

Do you get relaxation guilt? (And how to let it go)

Relaxing cat
Relax … Be more cat ;-)

Someone recently asked me, “how do you shake off the guilt when you stop and relax”?

A very good question that got me thinking…

I’d posted a message on my Facebook page from Action for Happiness “Stop the Glorification of Busy” with the advice “It’s OK to give yourself permission to stop and do nothing. In fact it’s ESSENTIAL for your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. So go on … be a radical and give yourself time just to be…”

But yes, it’s one thing having time to relax, it’s quite another allowing yourself to relax isn’t it? Read more…

Yoga: what’s the point?

The Yoga Path: Mindful yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
The yoga path: often challenging but always rewarding

So, I’ve been rather confused about yoga and my place in the world as a yoga teacher of late.

Increasingly, yoga seems to be about challenging poses, contortions, arm balances, headstands and pushing through your fears – at least that’s how it’s represented and how many teachers teach it.

But to me, practising yoga has always been about “stilling the thought waves of the mind”  (as Patanjali, the sage behind the ancient Yoga Sutras states).  A practice of becoming aware and alive to the subtleties of my body, emotions and mind and to connect to my inner self and inner peace. Read more…